It is believed that David Cameron’s Conservative Government could make life easier for landlords; however, this will include the rogue investors.
Conservatives Could Help Landlords
Labour planned changes to the private rental sector, such as rent controls and a national landlord register, but the Conservatives proposed little to aid the market.
The Mortgage Advice Bureau’s Brian Murphy gives his view: “This will arguably make life easier for landlords and remove extra administration time.
“However, this means there is little being done to stop landlords who are acting unlawfully and providing poor quality accommodation, possibly illegally. Rogue landlords are able to compete on price rather than abiding by the law, undercutting good landlords who have higher costs to ensure everything is above board.”
The Conservatives have proposed two policies that could affect landlords. One involves changes to section 21 (A&B) of the Housing Act, which could come into force this year.
Murphy says: “The changes proposed to section 21 of the Housing Act will make it more straightforward to evict a tenant, albeit placing some restrictions on how and when a section 21 can be given.
“However, landlords must ensure that they don’t carry out their own eviction in a way that is actually illegal.”
The second regulation relates to small print in the 2015 Budget, which would make it easier for tenants to sub-let their rental properties.
Murphy comments: “The biggest concern for landlords is that this will make it easier for tenants to re-rent the property or rooms to other renters. This also increases the risk of rent-to-rent scams, whereby a middle man poses as a normal tenant, converts shared living spaces into extra rooms and then charges rent on an individual basis at a much higher price than they are paying the landlord.
“Not only does this damage landlord profitability, it puts them at risk of breaking the terms and conditions of their mortgage, e.g. not letting the tenants on benefits and having maximum contract lengths, and invalidating any landlord insurance.”1